A Small Seattle Studio That Looks Much Larger Than It Is

updated Feb 7, 2019

A Small Seattle Studio That Looks Much Larger Than It Is

updated Feb 7, 2019
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Name: Angel and Ben
Location: Fremont — Seattle, Washington
Size: 580 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

The first thing you notice when walking into Angel and Ben’s Fremont studio is the huge floor-to-ceiling windows at the far end of the space, letting light pour into their living area. And the giant floor plant sitting by the Juliet balcony makes it feel like the outside is spilling in, tricking the eye into adding extra square footage to this less-than-600-square-foot Fremont apartment.

Angel says the key for her and Ben has been finding well-proportioned furniture. And I would have to agree, because while the square footage is low, the airy feeling inside the space is abundant. A couch big enough to sink into, a desk you could actually get stuff done at, and a dining table that would comfortably welcome a couple of dinner guests all mingle in the living space together with plenty of space to move freely. I credit this to Angel and Ben not over-doing it with the wall décor — after all, do you really need much else than a ukulele hanging on the wall?

And with just a couple hanging plants and a handful decorative items scattered throughout the space, their furniture is allowed to do the “visual interest” heavy lifting so that the space can breathe a bit. There definitely is something about this place that makes you want to exhale and stay awhile.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern and industrial, with mid-century accents and wood for warmth.

Inspiration: Mostly Scandinavian and mid-century interior design blogs and Instagram posts, with personal touches from Seattle and our lives.

Favorite Element: I love the big floor-to-ceiling window on the north side of the living room. These windows open up our apartment with an abundance of natural light. I also love how one of the “windows” is a Juliet balcony, allowing for an influx of fresh air in the summer (not to mention the cats love sitting by the balcony to peek outside!)

Biggest Challenge: Sharing 580 square feet with another person poses lots of challenges, but the biggest would be finding adequate storage for all our clothes. Since we only have a small reach-in closet for the both of us, we had to take advantage of all vertical space. We also do laundry several times a week to make sure our hamper doesn’t overflow.

What Friends Say: Most of our friends are surprised at how we managed to make the living room look a lot bigger than it really is. I think the cohesiveness and size of the furniture made a huge difference. They’re also shocked that we don’t drive each other crazy in such a small apartment!

Biggest Embarrassment: I’ve killed almost a dozen plants within the last year. With north-facing windows that face the courtyard, we get very little direct sunlight, making it impossible to keep most plants alive. That’s why you’ll see two snake plants in our home — they’re nearly impossible to kill.

Proudest DIY: We removed the wood legs from a basic IKEA table and attached hairpin legs from eBay to give the table a mid-century modern look. It was such an easy DIY that took about 20 minutes, and yielded such a great result.

Biggest Indulgence: Realistically, our biggest indulgence is living in our current neighborhood in the middle of Seattle, as rent prices are ridiculous. If I had to pick an indulgence in the actual apartment, it would be our West Elm Modern Buffet, which we use as a TV console. Ben and I found it in the back of our local West Elm as a floor sample, on sale for more than 50% off!

Best Advice: Don’t feel as though you need to spend a fortune to create a space you love. Most of our furniture and décor was found at IKEA, Wayfair, Target, and Amazon.


Bissa Shoe Cabinet — IKEA

Friheiten Sleeper Sectional — IKEA
Modern Buffet – West Elm
Arc Floor Lamp – Target
Pillows – Target
Rug – Wayfair (no longer available)
Trent Austin Design Retro Coffee Table – Wayfair (no longer available)
Threshold Bookcase – Target
Artificial Palm – Craigslist find
Decorative Tray – West Elm (no longer available)
Stag Head Décor – Target
White Planter – West Elm
Hokku Designs Ladder Bookcase – Wayfair, available at Amazon
Langley Street Computer Chair – Wayfair
Modern Cat Tree – Vesper V-High Base
Lounge Cat Scratcher – Petfusion
Gold Planter – Urban Outfitters
Acrylic Makeup Organizer – Muji 5 Drawer and 2 Drawer, stacked
Wood clock – Crate and Barrel (no longer available)

Jokkmokk Dining Table – IKEA
Mid-Century Style Dining Room Chairs — Amazon
Plant Stand – Target (discontinued)

Utensil Crock – Crate and Barrel
Electric Kettle – KitchenAid
Wood fruit bowl – Crate and Barrel (no longer available)

Low-Set Malm Bedframe – IKEA (Discontinued)
ASKVoll 5 drawer dresser – IKEA (Discontinued)
ASKVOLL 2 drawer dresser – IKEA
Malm 3 drawer dresser – IKEA
Closetmaid Cubeicals Organizer — Amazon
Empire State Building Canvas – Found at a local boutique
Mirror – Target
Lamp – IKEA

Bamboo Tray – Target (similar here)
Wood toothbrush holder – Target

Thanks, Angel and Ben!

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